International news within the industry of mining and metal, May, 22 2019
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Russia continues to use and in particular export asbestos

Welcome sign in Russian at the entrance to the city of Asbest, saying - Asbest is my town and destiny. Photo: Wikipedia, Credit: Hardscarf
Welcome sign in Russian at the entrance to the city of Asbest, saying - Asbest is my town and destiny. Photo: Wikipedia, Credit: Hardscarf
Published by
Markku Björkman - 13 Mar 2019

Despite the many health risks associated with asbestos, Russia continues to use and in particular export asbestos. According to the Russian customs agency, more than 600,000 tonnes of this ore were sold in 2018, which is generally considered to be carcinogenic. The main customers are India, China, Vietnam and Indonesia. In these countries, asbestos is not prohibited but is still widely used in the construction sector and in road construction.

In Russia, the type of asbestos extracted in Russian mines, chrysotile, is considered to be completely harmless and anti-asbestos campaigns are said to be orchestrated for the purpose of weakening Russian producers in favour of European alternatives to asbestos. Thousands of jobs depend on the asbestos industry in Russia, not least in the city of Asbestos, for which the material is named.

The asbestos industry is now also marketing itself with the help of US President Donald Trump and his face adorns many asbestos bags. In a book published in 1997, Donald Trump has stated that asbestos is 100 per cent harmless and that it is the mafia behind the campaign to ban asbestos.

Source: RFI

Cobalt mine in Democratic Republic Congo. About half of all mined cobalt comes from DRC, mainly from the province of Katanga. The mining takes place close to towns and villages. Local communities regularly are cut off from their farmland and water sources near mines, without having had a say in the matter. There are several examples of forced relocations of entire villages. Inhabitants of the village Kishiba, for example, were forced to move to make way for Frontier, a cobalt and copper mine. Their new homes in Kimfumpa lack the most basic of services such as clean water, fertile farmland, schools and health care. Photo: ECCJ Secretariat
Cobalt mine in Democratic Republic Congo. About half of all mined cobalt comes from DRC, mainly from the province of Katanga. The mining takes place close to towns and villages. Local communities regularly are cut off from their farmland and water sources near mines, without having had a say in the matter. There are several examples of forced relocations of entire villages. Inhabitants of the village Kishiba, for example, were forced to move to make way for Frontier, a cobalt and copper mine. Their new homes in Kimfumpa lack the most basic of services such as clean water, fertile farmland, schools and health care. Photo: ECCJ Secretariat

Chinese control half of the Congo's cobalt